Monday, June 8, 2015

No. 877: Transforming carbon dioxide to fuel gas in one second (June 8, 2015)

Prof. Choji Fukuhara of Shizuoka University and Cataler, a catalyst maker in Shizuoka Prefecture, jointly developed a technology to transform carbon dioxide to fuel gas at a high speed. Carbon dioxide flowed in a narrow tube to which catalyst is applied is transformed to methane gas in about one second.

Prof. Fukuhara’s research team applied a porous material that contains nickelic nanoparticles to aluminum narrow pipes, each of which is 5 cm long and several millimeters in diameter, and combined them to build a pipe. A mixed gas made of carbon dioxide and hydrogen flowed in from one end of the pipe initiates a chemical reaction when it is heated, and methane gas is flows out from the other end. The research team successfully transformed 1.5 ml of carbon oxide into methane gas per second using a pipe 2 cm in diameter. The yield is 90%, and mass production will be available by increasing the number of narrow pipes.

The chemical reaction to produce methane from carbon dioxide and hydrogen has long been known in the academic circle, but it was very hard to increase the transformation efficiency. The research team successfully increased the transformation efficiency by developing the method to make the mixed gas contact nickel nicely. It plans to locate partners for joint research and verify the technology in a demonstration plant. The technology is expected to contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. Japanese government plans to reduce greenhouse gases to 26% below 2013 level by 2030.  

Introduction to Cataler